Is it legal to make an employee work with a doctor’s note in South Dakota?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal to make an employee work with a doctor’s note in South Dakota?

I am allergic to mosquitos. Although I
don’t think it was mosquitos that bit
me I had a similar reaction. I had 39
bites all over lower body. From having
these I had a fever, my legs were
swollen, my bites were very painful and
blistered, and it hurt to even stand.
My doctor wrote me a note not to work
the day I saw him. I was scheduled to
be in at 4 and I saw him around 130. I
told my boss that I had a doctor’s note
instructing not to work. . . My boss
told me I had to and that it was too
late in the day to find someone to
cover. In horrible pain, I went to
work. I texted my boss 3 and a half
hours in asking to leave early due to
my pain. I was told he couldn’t let me
leave for something little…… I had
a doctor’s note and sent my boss a
picture of the bites to indicate that
it wasn’t a little manner and explained
to him, again, what all was going on
with my body. . .

Is it legal to have made me work like
that with a doctor’s note?

Asked on June 17, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Dakota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Firt of all, a doctor's note is not legally binding on an employer. Secondly, absent an employment contract, union agreement or company policy to the contrary, legally your employer is on solid ground here. Sick time, the same as sick time, is typically a discretionary benefit that may or may not be provided by an employer. Accordingly, an employer may control when, and if, it is taken (absent some form of legally actionablr discrimination). Federal and most state laws do not regulate such time.
Absent a company policy, or an employment or union contract, or some form of discrimination, an "at will" employee can either accept these terms or work for someone else.
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